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Django app for using API Star as frontend.

Project description

This project is a Django App that switches between Django and API Star’s routes and views. That way, we have API Star as the API frontend, while leaving Django’s toolset available for devs to work with.

Both API Star’s docs and Django Admin work as intended. You can see a Django + API Star implementation example at the django_apistar_example or test it on heroku.


  • django>=1.8
  • apistar>=0.5.40
  • python==3.6


pip install django_apistar

After installing, we need to add django_apistar to your INSTALLED_APPS in your project’s


Then, we need to set up three settings: a base API Star route module (APISTAR_ROUTE_CONF), API Star’s own settings and to change the default WSGI application:

    'ALLOWED_DJANGO_ROUTES': ('/admin/', '/static/'),

APISTAR_ROUTE_CONF = 'your_api_star_app.routes'

# remember that the following setting already exists in a default django settings file!
WSGI_APPLICATION = 'django_apistar.wsgi.application'

The ALLOWED_DJANGO_ROUTES key describes which routes you want API Star to ignore. Only '/static/' is required, since we want Django to keep managing static files for us.

Now, if you want to run the dev server, run python runserver and hack away!


We support Basic and Token/Bearer authentication.

To use them, configure your APISTAR_SETTINGS as you would configure your API Star app:

from django_apistar.authentication.components import DjangoBasicAuthentication, DjangoTokenAuthentication


APISTAR_SETTINGS['COMPONENTS'] = [DjangoBasicAuthentication(), DjangoTokenAuthentication()],

If you want to use authentication by token, you need to add the django_apistar.authentication to your INSTALLED_APPS, then migrate your database.


Token authentication views

We provide two helper views for token authentication. To set them up, add the routes into your root file:

from django_apistar.authentication import routes

routes = [
    Include('/auth', routes),

The views will be added to your /docs/, as usual.

How it works

This Django app contains a custom WSGI application that smartly changes between API Star’s and Django’s response handlers. By default, all requests will be responded by API Star, unless the ALLOWED_DJANGO_ROUTES settings key contains that route.

This way, we are able to bypass Django completely when responding API requests, while keeping Django ready to respond to more complicated requests, like Django Admin and complex template/form views.

Another big advantage is that this app enables both Django Admin and API Star automatic API docs.

Implementing views

There is no need to think about corner cases when writing views. We only need to keep in mind that we won’t be able to use the django_orm backend baked into API Star, so we must access models directly to deal with CRUD operations.

For example, let’s create a view that persists a Product:

from core import schemas
from core import models

def create_product(product: schemas.Product) -> schemas.Product:
    db_product = models.Product(**product)
    return http.JSONResponse(schemas.Product(db_product.__dict__), status_code=201)

As intended, all the data validation is at the schemas, and everything is handled gracefully by API Star.

Implementing tests

To test your API Star views, we provide a hybrid TestClient that is API Star aware and a custom TestCase, leveraging Django’s own TestCase by including the reverse_url method from API Star’s router:

from django_apistar.test import TestCase #  our custom TestCase
from model_mommy import mommy

from core import models, schemas

class TestListProducts(TestCase):

    def test_list_products(self):
        The reverse_url method behaves exactly like Django's reverse,
        but uses the view's defined name as namespace.
        The builtin client is based on the API Star Test Client,
        so it's preferred to use this test case only to test API Star's views.

        url = self.reverse_url('list_products')
        db_product = mommy.make(models.Product, rating=5, size='large')

        response = self.client.get(url)
        content = response.json()

        expected_product = schemas.Product(db_product.__dict__)
        self.assertEqual(1, len(content))
        self.assertEqual(expected_product, content[0])


Since we capture the request at the WSGI level, you should expect no drops in performance whatsoever.

I’ve made a few (and completely arbitrary) benchmarks. I’ve used Siege and set up two views, one Django view, one API Star view, both only responding a json response with {"message": "Hello, World!"}. These were all run in my computer, so don’t expect true results - this is only for you to have an idea.

  apistar django2 django2-no middlewares django_apistar
transactions 13688 6840 10507 13899
transactions/sec 1482.99 716.23 1085.43 1440.31
longest transaction 0.08 sec 3.06 3.24 0.08


There are still a lot of ways we can improve and add more features to this app. If you find any bugs or have significant suggestions, just open an issue or contact me at Pull requests will be received with all care and attention as well :)



  • updates API Star version and code references;
  • refactor classes into components;
  • adds sample event hook for authentication.


  • starts using matching versions with API Star to simplify things (0.3.9__x will always work and depend on apistar==0.3.9);
  • locks maximum API Star version to 0.3.9.


  • adds authentication app;
  • adds views, models, schemas and authenticators for token authentication.


  • fixes default DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE;
  • sets up Django before starting the WSGI application, enabling use with Heroku.


  • removes the middleware implementation in favor of a custom WSGI app;
  • removes templates folder and, since they won’t be necessary anymore;
  • adds custom TestClient and TestCase to the tests module;
  • improves performance by ~100% by bypassing Django when answering API Star’s requests.


  • coupled API Star to Django via middlewares;
  • hijacks Django’s WSGI process to respond using API Star’s views.

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